A "violent" Mexican cartel is one of several targeting Australia's drug market, say local and worldwide police who busted a record haul of ice headed to the country.
Jason Halls, Victoria manager for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, said the drugs would have had an "immeasurable" impact on the Australian community.
United States authorities said the illicit cargo - with a street value of AUS$1.29 billion, or US$900 million - was hidden in two shipping containers carrying audio equipment bound for Australia.
It is the single largest seizure of methamphetamine heading Down Under and the largest domestic bust of the drug on USA soil. (Australian Federal Police) Police have seized a record amount of drugs bound for Australia. The driver of the vehicle was found to be allgedly in possession of drugs and was charged.More news: Thailand election: Thai princess to stand as PM candidate
"We have averted a tsunami of ice coming into Australia".
The Echo Task Force then continued to investigate the drug possession, and following this, police began to investigate the possible involvement of Australian gangs, which lead police to the discovery of the drugs and the arrests.
Camera IconSix people were arrested by AFP and Victoria Police officers across two states.Picture: Supplied, AFPCamera Icon1.7 tonnes of methylamphetamine was seized in the U.S. bound for Australia.
"We continue to pay top dollar for drugs in this country and this is a draw card for selling drugs", AFP Assistant Commissioner Organised Crime Bruce Hill told media on Friday.More news: Equine flu outbreak causes Newbury races to be cancelled
The Herald understands the men were involved in the syndicate's alleged drug distribution in Sydney.
The arrest led police to a house where two tonnes of precursor was used to cook methamphetamine. "Australian partnership is in protecting Americans and Australians alike", acting U.S. Ambassador to Australia James Carouso said in a statement. Police are building the case against two more in NSW, who they will apply to have extradited to Victoria.
Police said that three of those arrested would appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with attempting to import illegal drugs.
The previous record haul of meth seized in Australia was 1.3 tons in December 2017.More news: House Panel Votes to Authorize Subpoena for Acting Attorney General